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2011 Acura MDX

My 2011 Acura MDX AWD makes a loud whistling (grinding) when I reach speeds over 40 mph. The sounds comes from the wheels of the car. I had the brake pads replaced 10000 miles ago and this noise started about 8000 miles later. Noise does not stop when brakes are applied. When I slow down and come to a stop, noise can be heard also slowly stopping. Noise will go away for a few weeks and then comes back. During last oil change, I had mechanic (myself also) inspect CV boots, they were fine (MDX was not making noise at that time). Could noise be from wheel bearings? AWD system? Any thoughts would be helpful

If the CV joints have been ruled-out, then the wheel bearings would be a prime suspect, IMHO.

How many miles on this car?

If you haven’t changed the rear diff oil, then change it. This is a common problem with these Acura’s. That might be an easy fix.

Sounds like wheel bearings to me, but it needs to be looked at hands on.

This time, instead of telling the mechanic what to check, tell him the symptoms and let him look for the cause. People mean well and honestly think they’re helping the mechanic by telling him what to check, but it usually isn’t the best way to get the problem solved.

Let us know how you make out. We do care, just can’t fix this one over the internet.

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Does the noise change when you turn left to right(indicative of wheel bearings).

Wheel bearings can be checked on a lift by jiggling the wheel and seeing if play exists.

Hi There
Thanks for the responses. My MDX has 55000 miles on it. The noise does not change when I turn left or right. I had the differential fluid and transfer case fluids changed at 34000 miles. When I was driving it today, the noise did not happen but the last 5 days the noise was there. Usually the noise starts when I have driven about 10 miles and over 45 mph. Then when the noise starts it continues until the vehicle slow down and you can hear the “grinding” noise slowly going away. Almost sounds like the brakes pads when they are going bad (I had the brakes done 15000 miles ago)…but the noise does not stop when the brakes are applied. Any additional thoughts on what this may be?
thanks for your help

Acura wheel bearings failing at 55K is probably unheard of, but this intermittent weirdness sure doesn’t bring anything to mind for me. Maybe something in a differential.

Seen this year’s crop of potholes? There are record breakers out there.
Today’s double-row ball bearings sometimes can’t stand up to them like the old tapered roller bearings did. Having trashed a bearing on a pothole, I can speak from painful personal experience on the possibility.

Mikemdx…any luck? What you described sounds like what my 2011 mdx is doing. I just had the pads replaced also. I noticed the sound after about 30-40min drive. Especially loud when I’m next to the barrier. Let me know if you figured out the fix.

Hey Mike… Were you ever able to get this noise with your MDX figured out? I’m dealing with something similar.

This is a 4 year old thread and the chance that Mikemdx will respond is slim .
Please start your own thread with a clear description of your problem . On the main page click on the New Topic icon.

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Hi There

Yes I was able to figure this noise out. The noise was the drive train going out. My mechanic called the local Acura dealership since it was still under warranty. Acura dealership replaced it for free…

Hope this helps


Hi There

Yes, I was able to figure this noise out. It was the drive train going out. My mechanic called the local Acura dealership and since it was under warranty, it was replaced for free.

hope this helps out


I didn’t realize this was many years old but yeah, treat the transfer case and differential the same as the transmission with fluid changes every 30,000. The Acura dealer also insisted that the rear differential have the fluid changed at the first 10,000 miles. It only cost about $100 but there is a lot of expensive stuff in this drive train, and service is cheap.

“Drive train” covers a LOT of parts. Can you be more specific?

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If you state that you basically are hearing brake pad noises, then I will believe you. In addition to the disc brake pads you have on the rear of the car, you are aware that your MDX has small parking brake shoes that are inside the rear (disc brake) rotor… No? The rear disc brake rotors have a mini brake drum inside of them and they use tiny brake shoes identical to other normal size shoes, just smaller and employed specifically for parking brake duties. To say these are overlooked is a big understatement.

You may indeed have healthy disc brake pads all the way around, but how are those mini parking brake shoes doing? Has anyone looked at them? Its time to take a peek.

Sometimes people like to drive with the parking brake applied (why I don’t know) but when that happens you can burn up those mini shoes very quickly. Some “mechanics” don’t even check to see how those shoes are doing because they either don’t know they are there or because they are lazy or what? I don’t know but they get ignored. With the symptom you describe, you need to look into them.

You can do a little test, go for a drive and when you hear the noise, apply the parking brake and see if it directly affects the sounds coming from the brakes that you described. Not sure if you have a parking brake handle or a foot pedal…the foot pedal is the more difficult one to test because it locks in position and has to be pushed again to unlock…whereas the handle is easy to engage, modulate and disengage…just keep this in mind. Methinks you will hear the sound change when you apply the P brake and if so…you need to inspect and replace those little munchkin parking brake shoes.